Top Ten Tuesday: Ghostly winter reads

There is a contingent of readers and writers trying to bring back the Christmas tradition of telling ghost stories around the fireplace. After all, A Christmas Carol is really a ghost story, and Christmas does fall during the darkest time of the year. And with the Icelandic tradition jolabokaflod taking hold here too, a good stack of ghastly reads is just the thing for the season.

But why do spirits walk the earth, and why do they come to me?

Wishing you a literary Christmas with only high spirits of a brighter kind. “Why do you doubt your senses?” “Because,” said Scrooge, “a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an…

REVIEW: THE BIG BOOK OF CHRISTMAS MYSTERIES

EDITED by OTTO PENZLER   Never was there a more apt title for a book than this.  It is huge. Penzler, pulp and crime editor extraordinaire, has complied dozens of Yuletide stories into 650 pages of deliciously dastardly holiday cheer.  He has categorized them into bunches like Traditional, Funny, Sherlockian, Pulpy, Uncanny, Modern, Scary and…

REVIEW: RARE EXPORTS (2010)

There is plenty to be frightened of this Christmas.  At least in Finland.  In the world’s farthest reaches of desolation, it gets dark by mid afternoon — and Krampas can come out to play.  A father and son manage a meager existence as reindeer ranchers.  This year, however, something has affected their normal migration pattern.…